Internet Privacy (1596 words) Essay

Internet PrivacyInternet Privacy: Is the
Internet as safe as everyone says?
As every generation comes they bring with
them a new invention from cars to television to the telephone the basic
existence of man, in my eyes, is to advance both technologically, thus
making life better for us all and also scientifically. Man wants to know
all we want to be able to answer all the questions out there as every day
goes by we get closer and closer to answering some of our questions.

Everyday new cures for diseases are found and also new diseases are discovered,
new discoveries are made in various fields, at the same time however new
problems are arising.

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Man in every era has depended on some form
of tool to help him to his tasks whatever they may be, a tool to make things
easier. This tool is technology; technology does not have to be the modern
thoughts of computers. Technology is “the science of technical processes
in a wide, though related field of knowledge.” That is the definition given
by The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language.

So technology can be anything as long as it helps us advance. It can be
anything like a plough to help a farmer, a television to help the media
and the telephone to help us communicate. The latest technology of the
20th Century is the Internet and it has placed a great mark on our society.

It is the new “place to be” where business can advance, people can interact
worldwide at the click of a mouse and this has revolutionarily changed
the world. In the world of the Internet there are millions of members worldwide
and that means it is a very profitable arena. In an area where there is
money there are criminals and that is where the modern criminals of the
world are behind computer screens. They may be credible individuals in
society and they could also be credible corporations and organizations
that are finding a quick way to make money and by doing this they are breaking
ethical rules of society (even though it is hard to determine the ethics
of the internet) and one of these crimes is the violation of the privacy
of others.

I have logged on to the internet and have
felt safe, like anyone should that logs on to the net, that I am the only
one viewing my mail or cruising the net, I feel like I am the only one
that knows where I have been and that no one is tracking me. After all
the things I have just mentioned only happen in the movies, they are Enemy
of the State type of things, and it could not possibly happen to you am
I right? Wrong. By holding this thought one is including themselves “in
a large group of consumers, world-wide, who are unaware of the multitude
of information they are placing on the World Wide Web, simply by using
it as it was designed to be used. All it takes is a visit to any site to
place personal information about yourself on the internet. (Buffalo University).

The best way, at least for me, to understand
the Internet is not to view it as a one way street but instead as a two-way
road. The one way view of the internet is that it provides us with information
and entertainment, this is what many people use the internet for and that
is the one way view they maintain though it is not wrong there is more
to it. That is where the two way view comes into effect while an individual
is surfing the net the people that maintain the web sites are also getting
information that information is on you. It is a two way street because
you get what you want and they get what they want, which side gets the
more information is very debatable, solely on the premise on how much you
treasure your privacy.

It is disturbing to know that one can be
tracked all over the World Wide Web just from their mouse clicks. This
may be happening to many of us, our browser alone gives as away simply.

Just from our browser someone who wants to can find out could probably
find out “which computer you are coming from, what software and hardware
you are using, details of the link you clicked on, and possibly even your
email address (” This is a lot of information about us
that we may not want out there. Our browser is giving all this information
out through cookies. “A cookie is a unique identifier that a web server
places on your computer: a serial number for you personally that can be
used to retrieve your records from their databases. It’s usually a string
of random looking letters long enough to be unique (”
This is a very bad thing that destroys the founding of privacy if you cannot
surf the Internet without half the consumer-retailing world knowing about,
that is a very horrible thought.

When I view a particular page that is of
interest to me and I want to some more information on the products they
offer I usually fill an on-site registration form, along with me so do
many users of the Internet. By providing the information to the company
I am under the assumption that they will send the information I need to
me and that they are under an ethical code to respect my privacy. Well
in the world of the Internet, and in this day and age ethics might as well
be a dream. The forms we fill online may ask for basic information like
my name, address, phone number and email address and maybe my personal
interests, however the sad part is that all this information is most likely
being gathered for marketing purposes. It is often sold to other interested
parties willing to buy my information along with those of hundreds of others,
so that they may push their products upon them.

There are companies emerging over the
Internet that can get almost any piece of information on you that you hold
dear to your self. The Internet has unleashed a new beast, a beast that
has no name but that has no respect for privacy. If tomorrow morning the
United States Postal Service announced that all mail had to be sent in
a clear envelope there would be a huge ruckus. That would involve
everyone from a custodian to the president of a major organization; this
is because we all have something that is private to us that we do not want
strangers to know about. What is very disturbing is “when it comes to protecting
your privacy, banks and brokerage firms tend to squirm. By law they must
record Social Security number, the marker that can unlock the data in all
too many other accounts (Forbes pg. 187).” If your money is
not safe, if one knows how much money you have in this society then you
are at a disadvantage. In this society I feel every thing is measured by
the contents of your bank account, to achieve the dream many work hours
and hours upon end to make ends meet and to have all their labors exposed
to the whole world can be a very painful thing.

While researching this paper I came across
an interesting article done by MSNBC it was about a man named Glen Roberts
who lives in Oil City which is in northwestern Pennsylvania. Mr. Roberts
had obtained through legal means, thanks to the Internet and to be more
specific the electronic Congressional Record to obtain the social security
numbers of prominent members of the United States military. He then displayed
these numbers on his site to display to the world how insecure the Internet
was. “This is not some secret military document that someone hacked into,
and these are not the Pentagon Papers,” Roberts said. “This is information
that is put into public libraries all across the country with taxpayer
dollars” ( After reading the article on he MSNBC website
I searched for Mr. Glen Roberts page and found it. From there I was able
to discover the social security numbers of many prominent members in our
society including. General Colin L. Powell who’s social security number
is 113-28-4024 and Bill Gates who’s social security number is 539-60-5125.

These were all available from his Internet address:
After viewing the contents of this website
I thought to my self if the numbers of prominent members of society are
openly available to many then what would prevent the numbers of normal
civilians from being available. Many experts agree that once you have the
social security number of an individual you have the key to their whole
life. No safeguards are being taken to adequately protected. The Internet
in my opinion is a young domain and many are taking advantage of it by
breaking strict moral and ethical values.

To prove my point on how insecure the internet
was and how the privacy of others were not being protected I took the liberty
of finding out what information I could find on Mark Preut. He is my Debate
coach and also American Government teacher, in one minute (I timed myself)
I came up with was his address, phone number, map of the town he lived
in. If I had looked on further I know I could have found more but then
I would be contradicting my self on the matter of privacy.

The Internet is a dangerous place we need
to be careful. It is understandable that the founding fathers did not take
into account the invention of the Internet let alone the computer. However
they did believe in a sense of privacy that sense of privacy has not been
applied by this government. To that matter it has not been applied to any
other government which has control over events on the World Wide Web. It
is a shame there is no little or no privacy in this new world created by
man, the world known as cyberspace.


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